More Female Board Members required

The Danish Business Authority has issued new guidelines on target figures and policies with regard to gender compositionon boards of directors.

The largest Danish companies are subject to the rules on target figures and policies for the underrepresented gender with the objective to obtain a more even distribution of women and men in the supreme governing bodies. The Danish Business Authority has recently conducted a survey of the gender distribution on the boards of directors of these companies. The survey revealed that only 17 per cent of the companies have an even gender distribution on the board of directors and that the average lies at 15 per cent women and 85 per cent men.

Thus, compared with a previous analysis of the companies' statements regarding gender composition, this survey shows that there is a need for emphasising the obligations of the companies. On this background, the Danish Business Authority has issued new guidelines on how the companies are to work with target figures and policies for the gender composition in the management and the reporting duty in this respect.

A key question for the companies that are subject to these rules is how to define an even gender distribution. According to the guidelines, a distribution of 40/60 per cent of respectively women and men is regarded as an even distribution. This means, inter alia, that a company with a supreme governing body consisting of six members will only fulfil the requirement for even distribution by having three female and three male board members. This must be regarded as a tightening of the previous practice.

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